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Ingram v. Mortgage Elec. Registration Sys., Inc.

Supreme Court of Rhode Island

July 2, 2014

Kenneth N. Ingram, et al.
v.
Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc., et al

Providence County Superior Court. (PC 10-1940). Associate Justice Allen P. Rubine.

For Plaintiffs: George E. Babcock, Esq.

For Defendants: Paul J. Bogosian, Jr., Esq.

Present: Suttell, C.J., Goldberg, Flaherty, Robinson, and Indeglia, JJ.

OPINION

Page 524

Goldberg Justice.

This case came before the Supreme Court on April 2, 2014, pursuant to an order directing the parties to appear and show cause why the issues raised in this appeal should not summarily be decided. The plaintiffs, Kenneth N. Ingram and Olivia Ingram (collectively, plaintiffs), appeal from a Superior Court judgment granting the summary judgment motion of the defendants, Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS)[1] and Deutsche Bank National Trust Company (Deutsche Bank) (collectively, defendants).[2] After considering the arguments advanced by counsel, we are satisfied that

Page 525

cause has not been shown and that the appeal may be decided at this time. For the reasons set forth below, we affirm the judgment of the Superior Court.

Facts and Travel

On November 27, 2006, Kenneth Ingram [3] executed a promissory note (the note) in favor of Loancity in the amount of $212,500 in order to finance the purchase of property located at 6 Young Avenue in Providence, Rhode Island (the property). Contemporaneously, plaintiffs executed a mortgage (the mortgage) on the property to secure the note. The mortgage identified plaintiffs as " Borrowers," Loancity as " Lender," and MERS as " a separate corporation that is acting solely as nominee for Lender and Lender's successors and assigns." The mortgage provided that the borrower " does hereby mortgage, grant and convey to MERS (solely as nominee for Lender and Lender's successors and assigns) and to the successors and assigns of MERS" the property. Further, the mortgage stated:

" Borrower understands and agrees that MERS holds only legal title to the interests granted by Borrower in this Security Instrument, but, if necessary to comply with law or custom, MERS (as nominee for Lender and Lender's successors and assigns) has the right: to exercise any or all of those interests, including, but not limited to, the right to foreclose and sell the Property * * *."

On November 29, 2006, Loancity endorsed the note to IndyMac Bank, FSB (IndyMac). According to defendants, on February 1, 2007, IndyMac transferred the note, endorsed in blank, to Deutsche Bank.[4] IndyMac continued as the servicing agent for the note. On July 11, 2008, the Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS) of the United States Department of the Treasury closed IndyMac and appointed the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) as receiver. The OTS reorganized IndyMac into a new interim bank known as IndyMac Federal Bank, FSB. On March 19, 2009, nearly all of IndyMac Federal's assets were sold to OneWest; as part of the acquisition, OneWest became the servicing agent of the note. On November 4, 2009, MERS--as nominee for Loancity and Loancity's successors and assigns--assigned its interest in the mortgage to Deutsche Bank, which also held the note. Thus, as of November 4, 2009, Deutsche Bank held both the note and the mortgage to the property.

Subsequently, plaintiffs failed to make the required payments in accordance with the terms of the note. At least thirty days prior to March 4, 2010, OneWest--under power of attorney for Deutsche Bank--mailed notice to plaintiffs that a foreclosure sale on the property was scheduled for March 25, 2010. In addition, the foreclosure sale was advertised in the Providence Journal. As scheduled, Deutsche Bank foreclosed on March 25, 2010, and purchased the property at ...


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